Top 50 Tracks of 2015 (40-31)

40. Carly Rae Jepsen “Run Away With Me”

No song was more joyous than this opening track from Carly Rae Jepsen’s Emotion. From the sax to the choral chanting at the end, few songs were more urgent and earnest in 2015. While it’s easy to write off Jepsen’s music as nice pop concoctions, “Run Away With Me” is important music for the soul. – Mark Steinbach

39. Alabama Shakes “Don’t Wanna Fight”

From the moment the vocals start up, you can tell that frontwoman Brittany Howard is a badass; she gives ‘er. “Don’t Wanna Fight” has soul, funk, rock ’n’ roll, and blues all wrapped up in this gritty package. There’s no faking on this song, they definitely don’t wanna fight no mo’. The seemingly simple lyrics read like a modern, unrhymed poem; when they’re delivered by Howard, they give you all the feels from your last knock-down, drag-out argument. It’s no wonder that “Don’t Wanna Fight” has been nominated for two Grammys. – Colleen Walsh-Jervis

38. Tink “Ratchet Commandments”

A play of Biggie‘s classic “Ten Crack Commandments,” Tink‘s refutation of ratchet culture is both scathing and humorous. Lines like “if you know your rent is due, get the fuck out the club” is definitely a punchline but the critiques of living for Instagram likes and for men who don’t treat women right could not be more spot on. – Adam Tercyak-Morgan

37. Tame Impala “The Less I Know the Better”

“The Less I Know the Better” is the coolest song an album that’s already probably too cool for its own good. It ultimately epitomizes the “sad dance music” sub-genre that Kevin Park was at the center of in 2015. And the video is even cooler. – Mark Steinbach

36. Joanna Newsom “Sapokanikan”

A gorgeous, one-of-a-kind voice and a harp can get you pretty far, as Joanna Newsom’s wonderful “Sapokanikan” proves. Divers was an album that oddly fell through the cracks a bit this year, not quite as ambitious or sweeping as Newsom’s previous work. All that said, this track is a testament to her masterful musicianship and natural inclination to experiment and grow. – Mark Steinback

35. Darkstar “Inherent In The Fibre”

Darkstar are a London-based electronic duo consisting of Aiden Whalley and James Young. “Inherent In the Fibre” is the second track off their newest album Foam Island, and its echoing, cerebral pulse manages to get under your skin and leave you speechless. It’s haunting, full, and lush – a slowed-down symphony for your most vivid nightmares. The chorus isn’t necessarily catchy, but it shimmers in a way that will get stuck in your head regardless. The last thirty seconds consist of a monologue as the instrumentals fade out. In truth, “interesting” seems too weak of a word to describe this music. Its powerful grip on your psyche is something you have to experience to believe. – Shannon Athena

34. Alpine “Up For Air”

Australian pop band Alpine are famous for their breezy, synth-heavy songs, and “Up For Air” is no different. Phoebe Baker’s voice is light but wholly intoxicating, and it makes this track an easy one to keep on repeat for hours. From the humming intro to the off-kilter drumming, this track sticks with you like glue, even after one listen. It’s a convincing testament of the virtues of indie pop. With lyrics such as “You’re the one who’s gonna make me lose control”, the song is completely fun and carefree. Alpine have managed to create music that genuinely makes the listener feel good, so if a dose of positive vibes is what you need, you know exactly where to turn. – Shannon Athena

33. Bully “Trying”

Life is hard: it’s all hoping that you’re not knocked up and questioning everything about yourself. Bully gets it, so the Nashville-based band doesn’t gloss things over on “Trying.” The band sounds like the second coming of Hole, with frontwoman Alicia Bognanno screaming over riffs, then switching to sweetly soft vocals over bass-heavy pop-rock. It’s relatable, it’s grungy, it’s everything you need for those angsty times when you’re questioning yourself and you feel like there’s “invisible handcuffs locked on” you. – Colleen Walsh-Jervis

32. Lana Del Rey “High By The Beach”

Lana Del Rey‘s aesthetic is well documented at this point: hip hop drums, reverbed vocals, and gothic organ combined with her sad girl lyrics. While much of Del Rey’s career has been based around loving bad boys who may or may not love her back, “High By the Beach” changes the narrative a bit. Del Rey sings “you could be a bad motherfucker but that don’t make you a man,” a surprisingly strong statement that shows some fight in her. She later sings “I can do it on my own/don’t need your money honey to get me what I want.” Maybe “High By The Beach” shows Lana turning into a more modern woman, strong and independent…even if she used that independence to just get high by the beach. – Adam Tercyak-Morgan

31. Herbcraft “Push Thru the Veil”

Pushing through Herbcraft’s “Push Thru The Veil,” requires your absolute attention. Your keen listening skills reveal an extreme soundscape. The spiritual radiowaves of your mind have been hijacked and Herbcraft is taking over. The song is largely reminiscent of some old school German art rock (Amon Duul, anyone?). The guitar line is absolutely psychedelic and the drums are a rhythmic grounding session, connecting you to the beat, to the heart of the song. “Push Thru The Veil” is one big far out jam session. 2015 very much had its fair share of jammy, intensely written songs and Herbcraft claims dominance. – John Naessig

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